Like most of Central and South America, Spanish is the official spoken language of Costa Rica. However, with Jaco being a tourist town, there are quite a few people that speak English as well. Don’t expect to be holding down conversations about your last weekend with the grocery store clerk, but getting by without Spanish lessons isn’t as difficult as you’d think. Should the need arise to find someone local who speaks English, we found the pharmacists to be quite helpful.
But as you’re probably aware, you’re in another country! So, why not take the time to learn a few words or phrases and see where it takes you? Costa Rica is known as a popular destination to learn Spanish as residents speak slowly and their dialect is easy to understand.
If there’s one thing to remember while you’re in Jaco, it’s the words Pura Vida, which means “pure life” or “good life,” a phrase that reflects the way of living in Costa Rica. Basically, the countries national motto, Pura Vida is used as an interchangeable saying. It often replaces hello as people walk down the streets, or used in response to a question, such as “how are you?”